Real-time map of London Underground trains

At last. You may remember an earlier post, from the days when this blog was young, about a real-time map showing Swiss railway trains. You might even remember that mashup actually used timetable information rather than real data, but that in Switzerland there’s not much difference.

This London one actually uses live data from the TfL API, which is much more cool on several levels – especially since in London using the timetable as a substitute for real data wouldn’t be very good. It is really great that TfL seems to have gone so far in making its data available to developers – exactly as we called for in our report a couple of years ago.

I was about to be my usual snide self and point out that it wouldn’t be possible to use the map when you are actually on the underground, but these days quite a few stations have WiFi, so this is really starting to come together. Two cheers for TFL, and three for the app developers!

And an extra cheer for David Bradshaw, for telling me about this via Facebook.

A good crop of public transport coverage roll-outs

WiFi on buses, wifi on underground trains, that sort of thing. Like here, on Switzerland’s PostBuses, where it will be free to passengers. And here, on the Moscow Metro Ring Line. Moscow is clearly the place for free WiFi while you travel on public transport, because you can have it on regional buses too, as described here. In Vinnitsia (Ukraine) it’s the trams that have free WiFi (well, five of the 120 trams), in Vienna it’s the airport bus.

WiFi coverage on London Underground platforms

At last, courtesy of Virgin Media, and described here. Reading this and the gushing comment by the ‘mayor’ of London you would think that this was ground-breaking, rather than a catch-up with what is available in most mass transit systems and underground railways around the world from Cairo to Singapore (or Dubai, as in the picture).

It will be free during the Olympics and then chargeable via a business model that is yet to be determined – the post rather implies that it will be available to Virgin customers only. If true this surely merits some sort of regulatory investigation. In most other cities that I have come across there is some sort of neutral host model, where customers of all the different operators can use the coverage.

Railcard to be extended across UK rail network

Described here on the BBC, among other places. Not a great boost to sustainability in transport, but to be fair smart cards make buses much nicer to use, so if it helps a little with trains that’s a good thing. Especially since fares are going up – maybe using electronic money will make paying for rail travel feel a little less like spending.

Next Bus London – here at last!

Well, actually it’s been here for a while but I’ve just remembered to post about it. Still, it is absolutely marvellous. As a frequent bus traveller, I really appreciate it. It does for buses what the platform display does for the tube – lets you know when the next one is coming so that you can make decisions about what to do, and incidentally feel calmer about just how long you are waiting.

The best thing for me is that it isn’t just about the stop that you are at, but also offers nearby ones, so that you can make a sensible judgement about whether to take another route.

Urban Transitflow – personal travel assistant for iPhone

Is described here, at great detail, as if it was really happening. Adam Greenfield is a very cool and inspiring talker, so it would be nice if this was real. There isn’t much indication from the post that it is (somebody prove me wrong…). I wonder if he’s read my earlier post about the requirements for a personal travel assistant?

Bus management application in Curitiba, Brazil

In this one Ericsson is actually providing the modules, and the bus management system itself – not just the underlying equipment for the telco. Includes electronic ticketing, tracking, fleet management, as well as connectivity for the users on the buses. A good one to be associated with too, because the Curitiba bus system seems to be a model for other developing country cities!


Bus tracking in Serbia

Another one provided by Ericsson, and described in more detail here. Essentially a bus tracking smartphone app, with additional air quality data via a related app. Again, the service is from Telecom Serbia – not sure what Ericsson does in the process, though here it did provide the devices for free. There had been a previous pilot in Belgrade – wonder why it isn’t implemented there too?